Here, there and everywhere - Scott-Moncrieff

In this report, we wanted to see how aware SMEs are about the risks they face, how they have responded to problems and what they fear most. We have found ...
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Here, there and everywhere THE CYBER THREATS FACING SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZED ENTERPRISES

Here, there and everywhere

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The cyber threats facing SMEs

Table of contents Foreword 4 Executive summary 5 SMEs are at risk

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Cyber threats come in many forms

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The threat is real

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No business is too small 10 Cyber and data breaches have real business impacts 11 How are SMEs responding? 12 An insurer’s view

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Are you protected? 15 Conclusion: SMEs must protect themselves 16 Our solutions for SMEs

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Ten top tips to protect your business

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About Scott-Moncrieff

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Survey details We conducted an online survey of SMEs across a wide range of industry sectors between 18 July and 11 August 2017, receiving 115 responses. Participants include CEOs and managing directors, founders, owners, partners and other directors, managers and chairmen.

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Here, there and everywhere

Foreword

Executive summary

When cyber-attacks and data breaches hit the news, they invariably involve the largest businesses or national institutions like the NHS. But this doesn’t mean SMEs are not under threat too. Every SME, regardless of size or industry sector, is at risk.

Awareness of cyber and data risks has been heightened by recent high profile cases, with SMEs recognising the rising threat to their businesses.

At Scott-Moncrieff, we work so closely with SMEs, and want to make sure they are fully aware of the threats they face every day, in the ordinary course of business. You do not need to be doing anything particularly sophisticated to be at risk. Simply clicking a link in an email can leave you vulnerable to a data security breach. Part of the challenge for SMEs (as for all businesses) lies in the fact that hackers and cyber criminals do not just target specific companies with their attacks. Many forms of malware (malicious software) can trawl the internet looking for vulnerable websites and computers. No one needs to have a specific grudge against you. That said, a ‘malicious insider’ – a member of staff disgruntled for some reason – is also a risk that can never be fully ruled out. In this report, we wanted to see how aware SMEs are about the risks they face, how they have responded to problems and what they fear most. We have found that while SMEs are exposed to the risk of cyber-attack and data loss in many ways, most are highly aware of the threats around them. This is encouraging. However, more worrying is the fact that 31% do not know what action to take to protect themselves from the threats they see. What is really important now is that all SMEs take the basic and essential steps to establish and maintain their cyber-attack and data loss defences – setting policies, maintaining controls and training staff. No defences can be 100% secure, but they can go a long way towards preventing breaches and the unnecessary costs, business disruption and damaged reputations that follow. Gareth Magee Partner T: 0131 473 3500 E: [email protected]

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The cyber threats facing SMEs

Now is the time for SMEs to take action, review all areas that could be at risk and prepare robust defences. After all, over 40% of SMEs like you have already been victims.



Just 33% agreed and 67% of SMEs disagreed with the statement “When I hear about a big company suffering a cyber-attack or data breach – it doesn’t feel relevant to my business”, with 82% disagreeing with the statement “We are too small to be targeted”.



SMEs report that malicious code (83%), computer viruses (82%) and phishing email scams (80%) are the key threats that they are aware of and that pose the biggest threat to their business.



30% of SMEs surveyed have already suffered from a targeted or malicious cyber-attack and 21% have experienced an inadvertent data loss or error. Overall, 41% have suffered one or both of these problems.



In the event of a cyber-attack or data breach, SMEs are most worried about loss or damage to accounting data, files or client databases (77%), disruption to business plans (69%) and disruption to client relationships (64%).



Of those that have suffered a cyber- attack or data breach, just 26% reported it to the police, with just 23% reporting the incident to their insurer, indicating that SMEs have concerns relating to the impact on reputation and client relationships.



Those that have suffered an attack or breach are investing in additional prevention software (79%) and staff training (70%), recognising that an emphasis on protection and prevention is just as important as recovery.



The majority (57%) of SMEs recognise that they do not need to be specifically targeted to be a victim, and that simple human error is a real threat.



68% of SME business leaders recognise their current cyber prevention isn’t sufficient – and that they’d benefit from cyber insurance to help their business recover. But only 26% have already invested in it.

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Here, there and everywhere

SMEs are at risk Small and medium sized businesses are exposed to the risks of cyber-attack or data loss in many ways. 75% of SMEs regularly make BACS payments to suppliers. What they may not know is that if any fraud occurs in relation to these payments – say the money doesn’t go where it should have – the SME carries the cost. Unlike with credit card payments, banks make no guarantees around recovery.

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The cyber threats facing SMEs

Which of the following best describes your business currently? We regularly make BACS payments to suppliers

75%

We use email to send business critical information

70%

We store business-critical data (personal or corporate) in-house

63%

Our business can be classified as b2bs not direct-to-consumer

59%

We store business critical info on laptops & smart phones

38%

“Our research finds that 70% of SMEs use email to send business-critical information,” says Fraser Nicol, a partner at Scott-Moncrieff and an IT risk expert. “Email is unencrypted, so using it to send business-critical information creates an automatic vulnerability.”

Our IT security is outsourced to specialist companies / an IT specialist

38%

We accept personal credit cards as a method of payment

34%

These aren’t the only vulnerabilities that SMEs have: 38% of SMEs store business critical information on laptops and smart phones. Given how easily devices can be lost or stolen, these SMEs are at risk of losing potentially private data.

We have an internet presence / e-commerce-site to transact business

34%

Of the SMEs we surveyed, 63% store business-critical data (personal or corporate) in-house, so need to make sure they are protecting it properly by keeping their IT security up to date. The 28% of SMEs that outsource their business-critical data (e.g. to the ‘cloud’) aren’t off the hook, however. Their IT security problem doesn’t necessarily transfer to the outsource service provider. Under tougher data protection regulations that become effective in 2018, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), businesses will have a new legal obligation to know that their service provider is competent and capable of handling their data properly.

We outsource our business-critical data to the ‘cloud’, etc.

28%

We hold funds on behalf of our clients

17%

We store personal credit card / bank records

15%

Which of the following statements apply to your business?

“You should always ask about

the security measures being applied by your outsourced service provider. It’s a matter of basic due diligence.”

I am aware of cyber and data privacy threats but have all the prevention I need

31%

I am aware of cyber and data privacy threats but don’t know what action to take

%

21

I am aware of cyber and data privacy threats and already have cyber insurance

19

I am aware of cyber and data privacy threats but I’m not too worried

%

11

I am unaware of cyber and data privacy threats

2

I am aware of cyber and data privacy threats but they’re not relevant to us

38%

Fraser Nicol

Partner and Head of Business Technology and Consultancy, Scott-Moncrieff

%

%

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Here, there and everywhere

Cyber threats come in many forms

The threat is real So how many SMEs have suffered at the hands of cyber criminals?

Just 11% of SMEs say they are unaware of the cyber and data privacy threats facing their business. Our survey aimed to establish how aware SMEs are of specific cyber risks and, if so, which they see as being threats to their business. We found awareness levels to be high, particularly with regards to: • • • •

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The cyber threats facing SMEs

Among the SMEs we surveyed, 30% have already suffered from a targeted or malicious cyber-attack and 21% have experienced an inadvertent data loss or error. Overall, 41% have suffered one or both of these problems. These results are in line with the Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2017, which found that 46% of all UK businesses identified at least one cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months.

malicious code, such as worms or malware trojans (83%) computer viruses (82%) email scams (80%) ransomware (79%)

The headlines about the ransomware attacks suffered by the NHS in May 2017 seem to have made an impression on SMEs. Even so, SMEs may be under-estimating some of the threats facing their business closer to home, particularly the threat posed by malicious insiders (e.g. a data breach by a disgruntled member of staff). 43% of SMEs say they are aware of the risk of malicious insiders, but say it’s not a threat. Similarly, 41% of SMEs feel they are aware fraudulent transfers of funds to clients, suppliers or phantom bosses, but do not believe it’s a threat.

“It’s encouraging that only 18% of SMEs think they are too small to be targeted and that only 15% don’t think they have anything a cyber-criminal would want to steal. Random attacks don’t discriminate by size and anyone could be hit.” Fraser Nicol

It’s noticable that SMEs that have already suffered a targeted or malicious cyber-attack (or an inadvertent data loss) are more likely to be aware and see the threat from other, future forms of attack. Which of the following cyber risks have you heard of/do you feel might be a threat to your business? Has your current business ever suffered from a cyber or data privacy issue? Computer viruses

82%

Malicious hacking attacks: Theft of client / credit card data

60%

Malicious code (e.g. worms, malware trojans)

83%

Malicious insider (e.g. data breach by disgruntled staff member)

56%

Email scams (e.g. phishing, pharming)

80%

Fraudulent transfer of funds: to client, supplier or phantom boss

56%

Ransomware

79%

Website denial of service attacks

55%

Loss or theft of data on PC / phone / memory stick

66%

Emails or data file sent to wrong person

65%

Spyware

70%

Aware and a threat

2%

38%

2% 5%

12%

A targeted / malicious cyber attack

30% yes

43%

1% 1% 3%

19%

no

41% 6%

4%

An inadvertent data loss / error

30%

21%

30%

5% 11%

Aware, but not a threat

70%

15% 22%

23%

Unaware

17%

19%

no

79%

yes

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Here, there and everywhere

No business is too small

Cyber and data breaches have real business impacts

Although some SMEs may not appreciate their real exposure to all threats, many have ‘wised up’ to the general cyber risk. “

Over half (57%) recognise that the most common or dangerous cyber-attacks are random rather than targeted. Hackers and criminals can trawl the internet looking for entities that have failed to maintain their cyber defences: failing to download a ‘patch’ can leave SMEs exposed. “It’s also encouraging that only 18% think they are too small to be targeted and that only 15% don’t think they have anything a cyber-criminal would want to steal,” Fraser comments. “Random attacks don’t discriminate by size and anyone could be hit.” Only 10% of SMEs surveyed think they would never fall for a cyber or data scam – but they need to think again. “We all could,” Fraser says. “Even cyber risk experts.”

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The cyber threats facing SMEs

Cyber-attacks and data breaches can clearly have a big impact on businesses. They can disrupt business plans and damage business reputations. SMEs are right to be concerned about costs too. Once you’ve suffered a breach, you realise how much it costs to address it. Steve Williams, Partner, Moore Stephens London



We asked SMEs what they would be most worried about if they were to suffer a cyber-attack or data privacy breach. Loss or damage to accounting data, files or client databases is the top concern (77%), followed by disruption to business plans (69%), disruption to client relationships (64%), IT costs incurred rectifying damage (63%) and loss of business reputation (61%). SMEs that have already suffered a cyber-attack or data loss are more likely to be worried about all these issues, but particularly more worried about IT costs incurred rectifying damage (72%) and the loss of business reputation (72%). These SMEs are right to be concerned. According to recent Government research, the average business faces costs of £1,570 as a result of cyber security breaches – ranging from £19,600 for the average large firm to £1,380 for the average micro and small firm.

Which of the following statements best describe your views? In the event of cyber-attack or data privacy breach, which of the following would most worry you?

True Technology is critical to our business

90% 10%

False

Loss or damage to accounting data, files or client databases

84%

The more people you employ, the bigger risk someone will do something silly / expose you to risk

84% 16%

IT costs incurred rectifying damage

I recognise I can’t stop all mistakes, but cyber insurance would help me recover

73% 27%

Loss of business reputation

Lots of the most common or dangerous cyber-attacks are random rather than targeted

57% 43%

When I hear about a big company suffering a cyber-attack or data breach – it doesn’t feel relevant to my business

33%

My prevention plan is sufficient, so I don’t need insurance

32%

I didn’t know you could get cyber & data insurance

29%

We are too small to be targeted We don’t have anything that a cyber-criminal would want to steal I would never fall for a cyber or data scam

67% 68%

71% 18%

69%

Disruption to our business plans

Cyber-attack prevention and data privacy prevention are much more important than cyber insurance

16%

77%

64%

Disruption to our client relationships

63% 61%

Loss of intellectual property or confidential materials

58% 51%

Loss of personally identifiable data Costs from lawsuits from clients/ consumers

38% 33%

Fines from data / industry regulators

82% 15%

20%

Loss of billable hours

85% 10% 90%

None of the above

2%

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Here, there and everywhere

How are SMEs responding?

Understanding your options once you’ve suffered an attack or breach can help your business get back on its feet.

Investing in staff training and increasing awareness are the keys to a robust defence.

Matthew Norris, insurance underwriter for small businesses at specialist insurer, Beazley explains: “There are basically two types of cyber insurance available. One concentrates on making payments in the event of an attack or breach, whilst the other provides what SMEs really need in the aftermath of a cyber-incident – urgent access to a specialist team who can respond to the incident.

SMEs that have suffered a targeted or malicious cyber-attack or an inadvertent data loss or error responded in a number of ways, but primarily by investing in additional prevention software (79%) and staff training (70%).

“Cyber incidents are incredibly varied, and the threats can change quickly. We believe the greater experience you have access to, the smaller the financial and reputational consequences for your business.”

It is a concern, however, that only 26% of SMEs reported their incident to the police. “This means that some SMEs suffered a malicious or targeted attack, but didn’t report it,” Fraser says. “People should tell the police. It’s a crime, just like a burglary, so reporting it is a good way to access help and support.” The easiest way to report an incident is through the website of ActionFraud, the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre (see www.actionfraud.police.uk). Of the SMEs that suffered a cyber-attack or data loss incident, just 9% invested in the services of post cyber-attack recovery specialists. In matters of cyber-attacks and data loss, using specialists is always recommended. The low usage rate suggests many SMEs don’t know these services are available or don’t know how to find them. While existing insurance policies such as commercial property, business interruption or professional indemnity insurance, may provide some elements of cover against cyber risks, businesses are increasingly buying specialised cyber insurance policies to supplement their existing insurance arrangements, particularly if they: • • •

hold or process sensitive details of customers or employees, such as national insurance numbers, banking or medical information rely heavily on IT systems and websites to conduct their business process payment card information

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The cyber threats facing SMEs

After you suffered an attack, what additional actions did you take as a result? Invested in additional prevention software

79% 70%

Invested in additional staff training

Invested in additional equipment

34%

Invested in services of cyber-attack prevention specialists

34%

Reported to the police

26%

Invested in specialist cyber insurance

26% 23%

Reported to insurance company

It’s good news that SMEs are investing in training their staff, because staff awareness and behaviours are the key to a strong defence.

Fraser Nicol

Invested in services of post cyber-attack recovery specialists

9%

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Here, there and everywhere

Matt Norris Underwriter, Beazley E: [email protected]

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The cyber threats facing SMEs

An insurer’s view

Are you protected?

Scott-Moncrieff's research re-enforces our view that small and medium sized businesses are becoming increasingly aware that data breaches, and other cyber incidents, can happen in a variety of ways to both small and large companies, often through human error, and without malice.

Most businesses assume that they are covered against cyber-related incidents through their general insurance policy, but in many circumstances, this is not the case - as losses caused by a hacking attack will not be included. Given the gaps in standard cover and the extent of the cyber threat to all businesses, it’s no surprise that cyber insurance is one of the fastest growing lines of cover in the market. As our research shows, SMEs are increasingly recognising the threats they face and the insurance market is responding.

As well as investing in prevention tools, SMEs need to have a plan about how to keep their business up and running, should something go wrong. What’s worrying is that 73% of owner managed business leaders recognise they cannot stop all mistakes, and almost two thirds of SMEs recognise that their current prevention plans are not sufficient.

However, taking out cyber insurance isn’t quite as simple as obtaining household or car insurance, due to the range of options of cyber cover available. Not all cyber policies, for example, will compensate you for business interruption (perhaps caused by a ransomware attack), so determining what type of cover is right for your business is vital.

So the question is, do you have the time money and resource to manage the response when the inevitable happens? Or would you benefit from access to a team who can help manage the problem, and let you focus on your business? This report finds that just 9% of SMEs that suffered an attack invested in the services of post cyber-attack recovery specialists, so what steps should the remaining 91% be taking to protect their business? Most regulators understand that even the best run companies can suffer from a cyber-attack or breach, but rarely forgive an ineffective response – which could in turn lead to a regulatory investigation, leading to further disruption to your business. Under the EU GDPR regulation due to be in force in May 2018, it states that notice of a data breach must be provided ‘without undue delay and, where feasible, not later than 72 hours after having become aware of it.’ If notification is not made within 72 hours, the data controller must provide a ‘reasoned justification’ for the delay. Typically when businesses suffer a cyber-attack or data breach, there are two stages that then occur from an insurance perspective: 1. First costs are incurred investigating and reporting; 2. Legal suits may be filed, or complaints made. We have found that the first stage is an opportunity to limit the adverse consequences of the second stage, a stage that could be expensive and disruptive to a company. An effective response team should maximise that opportunity to limit the adverse consequences. An experienced response team should allow a quick but sophisticated response, which we believe is essential to minimise disruption to your business, satisfy regulators and manage your business’ reputation.

If your business trades online, takes credit card payments or holds customer data, your exposure is likely to be significantly increased. If the customer details you hold are hacked, your client’s response may well be to take their custom elsewhere – and if all your customers follow suit, then your business could be wiped out. To protect yourself against this doomsday scenario – taking out an insurance policy that covers the additional costs of PR and other essential clear-up actions could prove extremely valuable to the survival of your business.

Fraser Nicol Partner and Head of Business Technology and Consulting E: [email protected]

As our research indicates, SMEs understand that every business – large or small - is likely to be at risk from a cyber-attack or data breach. Fraudulent emails purporting to be from a supplier, a colleague, the accounts department or even the boss are widespread, and haven been proved to trick people into authorising false payments. Prevention is always the best solution, of course, so it’s vital to establish policies and procedures to mitigate your risk as far as you can. Make sure your staff are properly trained so that they are more likely to spot attempted frauds and cyber-attacks and can avoid the traps being set for them. But if those traps succeed, cyber cover then provides a welcome safety net.

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Conclusion: SMEs must protect themselves Around one in five (19%) of the SMEs we surveyed say they are aware of cyber and data privacy threats but are “not too worried”. Given the nature of the threat, they should be. Establishing sound controls, training staff and keeping up with software updates are all vital bricks in the defensive wall, but even the best protected SMEs can’t guarantee their IT security. Fraudsters and hackers keep on innovating, so today’s defences could well be inadequate tomorrow, while human error can never be ruled out. Realising their exposure, 21% of SMEs have taken out cyber insurance (36% of those that have experienced a malicious cyber-attack or inadvertent data loss). Although prevention is always better than cure, taking out insurance in advance of a cyber-attack or data loss could help SMEs to recover more quickly and effectively. It’s a huge concern that 31% of SMEs in this survey are aware of cyber and data privacy threats but say they don’t know what action to take. Advice is widely available and even free. A useful source of help is the government-endorsed Cyber Essentials scheme (see www.cyberaware. gov.uk/cyberessentials). If professional expertise is needed, then it’s best to look for specialists in cyber-attacks and data loss (whether to help with prevention or recovery), rather than assuming general IT service providers have the necessary expertise. The threat of cyber-attacks and the risk of data loss are real for SMEs. Taking action to address the many threats and risks should be a high priority for all.

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The cyber threats facing SMEs

Our solutions for SMEs Our in-depth understanding of the challenges facing SMEs allows us to deliver focused accounting and advisory solutions, both locally and globally. 51% of SMEs are worried about the loss of personally identifiable data Under tougher data protection regulations that become effective in 2018, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will bring with it new legal obligations and large fines. Our GDPR health check will help you establish where the risks lie, what actions are to be taken and how to achieve compliance before May 2018.

30% of SMEs have already suffered from a target or malicious cyber-attack SMEs that have suffered a cyber-attack will know that half the battle is knowing where to turn for help; a decision that is critical in reducing the negative impact on your business. We offer an incident response service to help with just that, and provide a team on standby to help you get back on your feet and discover exactly what went wrong.

79% of SMEs invested in additional prevention software to stop cyber attacks Prevention software can be expensive and in many cases fails to address the real issues within your IT systems. By mirroring the actions of a would-be hacker, we can probe your systems and find the vulnerabilities that are at risk of being exploited, leaving you with a detailed report listing the priority areas of your systems that need to be addressed.

www.cyberaware.gov.uk/cyberessentials

70% of SMEs invested in training following a cyber-attack Staff awareness is the key to a robust cyber defence, but the challenge lies in training your staff in advance against an attack. We apply our real world experience to cyber training, having dealt with many different types of attacks and

“Spend some time deciding

what type of cyber incident would be of greatest concern to your company. After you have decided, you can choose to accept that risk, to reduce the likelihood by investing in prevention or to transfer the risk to a third party to manage.”

Matt Norris Underwriter, Beazley

breaches. We will train and advise your staff on how to be cyber savvy.

31% of SMEs are aware of cyber and data privacy threats but say they don’t know what action to take We know that many SMEs simply don’t have the resources to effectively manage their own cyber security. Our team, with years of experience, can alleviate that burden and run your security for you, leaving you to focus on strengthening and growing your business.

77% of SMEs are worried about loss or damage to accounting data, files or client databases following a cyber-attack Understanding your environment and your resilience to cyber-attacks is a key first step in identifying the gaps in your processes and technology. Our Cyber health check is designed to help you identify the risks facing your business, and will provide practical, actionable advice on how to address them.

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Here, there and everywhere

Ten top tips to protect your business 1

 un software updates and R apply patches

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As a general rule, if a message leaves your office it needs to be encrypted. Most modern computers and mobile phones include encryption, so make sure it’s switched on.

Software updates are vital. Software vendors address vulnerabilities fast, so if you update your software straight away, you’re likely to frustrate attackers. 2

Update anti-virus protection Anti-virus protection installed on your computer is a fundamental startingblock for good cyber security. Anti-virus companies are quick to update their systems to catch the latest viruses, so make sure you keep updating.

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Protect your banking payments Some banks can reject suspicious payments if account numbers are changed, but the account name stays the same. The default setting for this protective function may be ‘off’, so turn it on if you want to benefit.

Check your supply chain Check that members of your supply chain have the right certifications to look after your information. Cyber Essentials (www.cyberaware. gov.uk/cyberessentials/) is a good starting point.

Filter the content your employees can access – by blocking potentially harmful sites and files – to protect yourself from unknown threats.

Use a password manager to create different and strong passwords for each website you visit – so if one account is compromised, the others remain safe. Two factor authentication reduces the likelihood of getting hacked even further.

Get ready for new data regulations Make sure you know your GDPR responsibilities – or risk a maximum fine of 20 million euros or 4% of annual turnover (whichever is greater).

Filter content

4 M  ake the most of password managers

Use encryption

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The cyber threats facing SMEs

About Scott-Moncrieff We advise high calibre clients, working across all sectors in Scotland and beyond. Scott-Moncrieff is one of Scotland’s leading independent firms of chartered accountants and business advisers. We have remained at the forefront of the accountancy profession in Scotland because we have consistently helped our clients to manage and overcome the issues they are facing today, whilst anticipating the challenges they will face tomorrow. Operating from our offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness, we provide our clients with a range of audit and assurance, taxation, employer support, business advisory, corporate finance and business technology and consulting services. Our partners and staff collaborate across our service and sector groups and international network to help our clients find new ways to improve their efficiency, profitability and performance. That collaboration means we can offer an even wider perspective on industry developments and best practice. Our clients range from individuals and entrepreneurs to SMEs, corporates, charities, public bodies and international organisations. We understand the challenges facing organisations Scotland-wide and beyond. We are a member of Moore Stephens UK Limited and part of the Moore Stephens International network. The Moore Stephens International network is one of the leading international accounting and consulting networks outside the Big 4, comprising 657 offices of member and correspondent firms in 106 countries worldwide, involving over 21,000 partners, principals and staff.

Think before you click Everything can be undone by human error. The best way to protect yourself is to think before you click – particularly before sending emails.

10 Focus on the basics Don’t worry about getting the latest ‘must have’ cyber product. Your organisation will able to fend off most cyber-attacks if you do the basics well.

About Beazley Beazley has been at the forefront of specialist insurance for over three decades and is a market leader in many of its chosen lines such as cyber. In 2016 Beazley underwrote gross premiums worldwide of $2,195.6 million and has operations in Europe, the US, Canada, Latin America, Asia and Australia.

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Here, there and everywhere

Edinburgh

Glasgow

Inverness

Exchange Place 3 Semple St. Edinburgh EH3 8BL

25 Bothwell St. Glasgow G2 6NL

10 Ardross St. Inverness IV3 5NS

0131 473 3500

0141 567 4500

01463 701 940